Are Home Prices on The Move?
“Spring property sales activity in the Okanagan-Shuswap is much stronger than in previous years. Following five months of steady growth in sales with inventory down despite listings being up, OMREB (Okanagan Mailine Real Estate Board) has moved firmly into balanced market conditions,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the North Okanagan.
The North Okanagan leads the way in growth this month with a 51% improvement in overall sales, compared to 31% in the Shuswap, and 24% in the Central Okanagan. The North saw a 58% rise in single family residential sales in May, compared to 17% in the Shuswap, and 12% in the Central Okanagan.
“The selection of entry level home choices has been picked over and is significantly reduced with the drop in active listings,” Griffiths notes. “As consumer confidence continues to build, some buyers are viewing properties in a higher price range to find better inventory and value.”
Low mortgage rates and competition among lenders are continuing to support higher levels of consumer demand this spring. Increased purchases at the higher price ranges suggest continued improvement in consumer confidence is well under way in our Board area. Accelerating market and employment conditions in Alberta, combined with an unfavourable US exchange rate, are pushing recreation buyers back into the Okanagan-Shuswap.
“While an increase in purchases of higher priced homes is being reflected in a jump in the average price of units sold during May, this does not equate to a significant increase in the price of single family home prices. Pricing has remained fairly stable with relatively modest gains seen in some locations.”
Despite balanced market conditions, the competition for buyers can still be a challenge for sellers if their properties are not priced well, Griffiths warns.
“Being realistic about the market value of your home, setting an attractive list price right out of the gate, and being willing to negotiate for the best offer are the keys to a successful sale. Market conscious and competitive home sellers are sharpening their pencils and seeing results.”
North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby): Overall sales for May in the North Zone improved 50.9% to 246 units compared to 163 units sold last year at this time. Total residential sales for the month were up 50.7% over last year with 223 units sold compared to 148. Single family home sales (134 units) were up 57.7% compared to May 2013 (85).
While the 471 new listings taken for the month were up 4.2% from the 2013 level of 452, inventory for May saw a 10.0% dip to 2,224 from 2,470 last year.